By Christine Laperriere
Dear disheartened Hillary fans,
Today I feel like we Hillary fans are suffering a major setback and personally, as an American, I am working hard to restore some hope and optimism in order to move forward. While I was stewing over the election results this morning, an old idea re-surfaced for me that brought me a little peace on such a sad day…
A few years back, a coach and mentor of mine introduced me to the term “Anti-Fragile” (quoted from a book by Nassim Taleb). Anti-fragile is the concept that “Some things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors and love adventure, risk, and uncertainty. Yet, in spite of the ubiquity of the phenomenon, there is no word for the exact opposite of fragile. Let us call it anti-fragile.”
To put “anti-fragile” into visual terms, I remember my mentor explaining how in most cases a light gust of wind would typically blow out the flame of a candle (fragile) but a very strong persistent wind can turn a small forest fire into a ranging hot inferno (anti-fragile). In essence, the resistance or setback results in a newfound strength that couldn’t exist otherwise.
In political terms, this makes me think of Rosa Parks – her refusing to give up her seat on the bus and getting arrested may have looked like a setback but this act fuelled the flame of a Civil Rights movement that ultimately made the country stronger as a result.
So, when I think of this disappointing election outcome, I know what the fragile response looks like – I felt it this morning as I was sad, angry and apathetic. I wanted to denounce my citizenship to lash back and let the world know I was angry.
But when I got calm, I started to ask some very different questions. What could be the anti-fragile outcome in response to this setback? How could our response to the election of Donald Trump ultimately result in more equality for women, more diversity and inclusion, less racism, strengthen relationships with other countries, better healthcare for everyone and a better environment for future generations? If that were possible, how might it happen?
When I start to ask these questions, my mind started to get peaceful and creative again… and somehow I started to find a bit of hope…